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Suns formally sign first-round pick Alex Len

Aug 29, 2013, 7:53 PM EDT

Draft Suns Basketball AP

Alex Len was a guy moving up draft boards heading into the June draft, not because he worked out — he didn’t because he had surgery on his left ankle, to be followed by right ankle surgery — but mainly because he didn’t.

Len has potential, and we never really saw that at Maryland because the guard play wasn’t good enough to get him the rock and the floor spacing there was wretched. All we knew was Len could be good. Then teams would work other guys out and not love what they saw, and with Len there was a 7’0”, 255 pound guy with potential they couldn’t pick apart with their eyes. And bigs with potential go high anyway.

The Suns grabbed Len at No. 5 and they formally signed him to his rookie deal on Thursday.

“We feel like Alex was one of the top players in this draft,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough told PBT’s Brett Pollakoff on draft night. “He’s a guy who just turned 20 years old, he’s seven-foot one, he’s extremely skilled, he’s had good success at the college level, but we think he’s just scratching the surface of his potential as a player. And we were thrilled to get him at five.”

Len fits the rebuilding Suns mold — even if he turns out to be a good NBA center it will not be a for a few years. The Suns will be in the “woeful for Wiggins” parade this season but if they get one of the better players in this draft and pair him with Eric Bledsoe and a rising Len, maybe you’ve got the foundation of something special.

Len’s rookie deal should play him about $3.5 million this season.

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